Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Surviving summer, and awaiting fall

Paula PiattI’m not wishing away the summer. Not really. Well, kind of.

I look out the window at the lettuce in the garden… wilted, listing a little to the left, as if it can’t stand up against its own weight in the 90-degree heat. I empathize.

I see the deer in the field down the road at night, venturing out only because it’s “cooled down” – as the thermometer only reaches into the 70s. And, honestly, that’s the only reason I’m out of the basement and able to see the field.

But I know those cooler days of fall aren’t far off; really only two months away as the frost can come early here in the Adirondacks.

While the heat is on, I’ll try to make the most of things. I’ll have to admit it’s a nice change chasing the northern lights in a T-shirt, shorts and flip flops, eating an ice cream cone with the window down at 1 a.m. The recent solar flare drove Steve and I to our usual mid-January parking spot hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive aurora (haven’t found it yet, but the ice cream is good).

A recent scorcher of a day found us deep in a gorge on a native brook trout stream. The water was clear and still very cold, albeit a bit low. We hooked a few brookies and some landlocked salmon, but the highlight of the day had to be the cool rocks, which offered a much needed and appreciated respite from the heat above the gorge. Add that to the fact that we didn’t have our waders on and (thankfully) got our feet wet.

And while I may regret saying this in January, I’m thankful for the Adirondacks’ high latitude where the nights are still “chilly” by southern standards. I welcome the cool nights – which last month were still dipping down into the low 40s – even if the pepper plants shiver. Steve and I have learned to do without peppers from the garden. I think it’s a fair trade.

I’m not the only one looking forward to September. Our Labs just can’t take the heat. Hailey, given her penchant for collapsing after exercise in 65-degree weather, can’t understand why we aren’t at the river every day when the trip in the (air-conditioned) truck would likely take her down before we ever got there. And Maddie, at 12 and a half, still wants to go, but one step off the porch and she realizes that she’s become the grumpy old lady down the street who doesn’t leave her porch until the sun has sufficiently set.

So here we sit, in front of the fan, watching the garden wilt and hoping for some much-needed rain.

It came yesterday, if only for about two hours. Of course, it was during the peak of the solar storm and the aurora (that I knew was out there) was invisible. The ice cream, however, was just as good.

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